The Monsterjunkies are an enchanting gothic family trying to raise their children in a world that is not. Talon Monsterjunkie is a cryptozoologist who travels the world, continuing an ancestral legacy of saving and researching rare and thought to be non-existent creatures from their Victorian estate at 1313 Road to Nowhere in Foggy Point, Maine. His partner in life and work, Pandora, is a botanist with pagan roots and a passion for otherworldly healing practices. They find joy and mirth in their lofty Thunderstorm Room, the bat colony below, an Odd Orchard, a labyrinth, gargoyles with an agenda, and their darkly decorated Halloween tree. Meanwhile, outside forces are scheming to rid the Monsterjunkies from the area, desiring the real estate their mansion sits on as well as wanting to expose them for illegally harboring exotic wildlife. It does not help that the Monsterjunkie name itself brings suspicion and rumors about what goes on at the odd and mysterious compound.
Cromwell (aka Crow) Monsterjunkie is their passive, macabre teenage son who prefers to cope with life by escaping into the world of comic book creatures and superheroes or spending time with unusual species. He laments that if his territory had not been invaded, plowed over, and contaminated by polluting commercial activities---the hubris of man, would The Creature of the Black Lagoon still be alive today? And why do the bullies of the world ---- the real monsters ---- always seem to win? Insecure, self-conscious, and risk-averse, his friends push him to ask a girl he likes out on a date while his older sister, Indigo and friend Winter Hodges grapple with life during their senior year. His sister is distant and less upbeat after two of her friends are outed and exposed in fake compromising situations online and other forms of harassment for being different.
Crow does not need any more stress. Not only does he not like his body but he endures random acts of micro-aggression. Retaliating last year in school only escalated the conflict with his nemesis, Ruth Grimes though the urge to get back at him is strong, nonetheless. Crow’s been targeted for his goth tastes, his Monsterjunkie name, and the unreal nature of his family’s generational legacy. He hates the haters but just wants to be left alone, free from the pressure to respond to other people’s vices. While in Africa with his father two years ago, they encountered men with guns, jeeps, and machetes, and numerous elephants slaughtered or left for dead. Crow cannot get their screams and cries out of his head. And his father used a gun that night. Crow has not forgotten those disturbing details but no one knows how this incident has affected him. His underground sanctuary is the one place he can block out those horrific sounds of suffering.
The Monsterjunkie family is soon confronted by the suicide attempt by Winter Hodges on their estate. This is the same Winter Hodges who is torn by grief, loss, and humiliation but who also believes in Crow and his talents, and who has a special connection to the family and their adopted pygmy elephant. In the aftermath, Crow finds Winter’s sketchpad and private journal entries. There, he discovers the depth of her emotional distress. For Crow, it is one more situation involving someone he cares about under siege. His private sanctuary below ground cannot continue to hold the tension that is growing inside. To add to his burdens, Talon Monsterjunkie announces that their intelligent, affable Sasquatch, Beau, who has a special relationship with Crow, must return to British Columbia. What would the MJ Manor be like without him? Crow cannot imagine it. This news sets off an honest yet painful eruption of emotion. He tells his father he’s stressed most of the time, and that even though he apologized to Ruth Grimes months ago for his own retaliation, it hasn’t made a bit of difference. Crow is upset that his sister is leaving, that Beau will be gone, and that his dad is missing in action. He also feels pressure to carry on the family’s legacy in cryptozoology while angry at his father’s preoccupation with his life’s work.
Erik, Daniel Shein
Visionary Entrepreneur, and Animal Welfare Advocate
Erik Daniel Shein was born Erik Daniel Stoops, November 18th ,1966 He is an American writer, and visionary, film producer, screenwriter, voice actor, animator, entrepreneur, entertainer, and philanthropist, pet enthusiast and animal health advocate. He is the author and co-author of over 30 nonfiction and fiction books whose writings include six scientific articles in the field of herpetology. His children’s book, “The Forgotten Ornament” is a Christmas classic, and was endorsed by Hollywood legends Mickey and Jan Rooney.